Sarah Smaga -- Niles North

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Judging philosophy:

About Me:
I debated for 4 years at Groves High School in Michigan, and currently attend Michigan State (not debating).
Topic experience: A couple of practice debates at the SDI

Big Picture:
Run the arguments that you feel comfortable running. I can't promise I'll be happy voting on arguments like Death Good, the Project, Absurdity, etc. but I'm willing to listen to them. Also, debate is supposed to be a fun and educational activity. Please don't be rude to others in the round, as this will certainly have an effect on your speaker points.

It's early in the season and I haven't been judging a lot, so I would appreciate explanation of any topic jargon or subtleties. Once upon a time, I was really into astronomy and physics though.


Counterplans - I'm fine with multiple conditional worlds, but they might make the aff's "condo bad" arguments more convincing. I'm less fond of process counterplans, dirty word PICs, etc. Make sure you explain specifically how your counterplan solves the aff advantages - this might require more work if you run an excessively complicated counterplan. Affirmatives should be making perms, solvency arguments, exploring any links to the net benefit, etc.

Disads - I like these, particularly the politics disad. The negative should be making disad turns case arguments, and te affirmative should be careful not to drop them. I think it is possible for the affirmative to win terminal defense, but it's often very difficult - make sure you're also making offensive arguments as well. I'm not a huge fan of intrinsicness, vote no, bottom of the docket, etc. but I would vote on them if dropped.

Kritiks - Try to avoid jargon and explain obscure arguments, I'm probably not familiar with them. I'm much less persuaded by super-generic or "dirty word" kritiks, especially if they don't prove that the affirmative plan is a bad idea. I think the aff can weigh their advantages, and should be doing impact calc versus the kritik, especially on issues of timeframe. The negative should clearly explain the alternative - if it's unclear by the 2NR, I find it difficult to vote neg.

Theory - I think most theory questions (with the exception of conditionality, PICs) are a reason to reject the argument, but not necessarily the team. If you think otherwise, make sure it's articulated in the debate. Theoretical objections against the consult counterplan, etc. are also convincing.

Topicality - I prefer a competing interpretations framework. There should be substantive analysis, starting in the block, about why I should prefer your interpretation/standards/voters (just re-reading the 1NC shell in the block isn't sufficient). Usually, I prefer substance debates over topicality, and so far this year, I've tended to vote affirmative in debates where T is the 2NR. This doesn't mean you can't go for T in front of me - it just means you should do it well.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision

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